Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2211-3770
  • E-ISSN: 2211-3789
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This article investigates the construction of sex advice for queer women as it features on the world’s most popular lesbian website, Autostraddle. Based in the United States, the website is a “progressively feminist” online community for lesbian, bisexual and other queer women. Using multimodal critical discourse analysis and corpus linguistics, this article explores how representations of sexual and gender identity facilitate the construction of homonormativity on the website. It argues that these representations involve a tension between exclusivity and inclusivity. On the one hand, Autostraddle wants to construct an exclusive markedly lesbian subjectivity and a subcultural model of lesbian sex, which is lacking in mainstream culture. On the other hand, it aims to be inclusive of transgender and bisexual women, and to deconstruct the idea of sexual homogeneity. Findings show that Autostraddle discursively negotiates these competing goals to construct a distinctly “queer female” normativity centred on young cisgender feminine lesbians.


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